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Thread: Assualted by Pedestrian - 31st and Q St NW @ 3:45PM on 7/15/2021

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    Angry Assualted by Pedestrian - 31st and Q St NW @ 3:45PM on 7/15/2021

    As I approached the intersection heading east, I made eye contact with a pedestrian walking north with his dog. As I slowed slightly and entered the crosswalk, he quickened his pace to assert his supposed right-of-way. He then stuck the butt end of his dog's tennis ball chucker between the spokes of my rear tire, stopping my bike. I jammed my left ankle as I dismounted. He then started yelling about how I should have stopped and pushing me. He picked up my bike and threw it indiscriminately. He then picked up my heavy-duty folding bike lock and threw it at me. (I was able to dodge it) Having let go of his dog's leash, he then went to retrieve his dog and walked off insulting me and yelling that I should have stopped.

    After realizing that my derailleur was broken among other things, I spent roughly 30 minutes trying to fix it and talking with a security guard at the Dumbarton House a block away. (He did not witness the assault) I then saw the pedestrian again, presumably walking home, and expressed my displeasure from a distance of at least 30 feet. He approached me, insulted and pushed me again.

    In my opinion, the fact that he accelerated to create a conflict and was still only able to make contact with my rear wheel shows that I entered the intersection before he did and should have had the right-of-way. Ordinarily I would swerve left a few feet to create more separation, but there was a car immediately left of me, also traveling east.

    Has anyone else been assaulted by a pedestrian?

    This city is dangerous enough as a biker just avoiding cars...

    If anyone witnessed this assault or knows the pedestrian, I'd love to hear from you.

    Here is my description of the pedestrian:

    White, male, mid-20s, roughly 6' tall, heavy-set, curly brown hair of medium length, wearing a camouflage tee shirt, walking a black lab, bragged about owning a truck.

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    That's absolutely insane. You should be filing a police report for sure as that *is* assault

    Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk

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    Did the car traveling next to you also fail to yield to the pedestrian? From your description it sounds like you should have stopped, but that his reaction was completely insane

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    I would file a police report. There's no way you're the first person that menace has targeted. The police might not know him, but others in the neighborhood almost certainly do.

  5. 07-19-2021, 08:07 PM


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    From what you describe, it sounds like the pedestrian had the right-of-way and you were in the wrong. Not sure why you would think otherwise. That said, you were assaulted and your property damaged, and that was clearly much worse on his part.

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    It's possible the pedestrian had right of way, but that's not 100% clear to me given the description. In DC, the only specific law I could find is that "The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within any marked crosswalk, or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, when the pedestrian is upon the lane, or within one lane approaching the lane, on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning." If the pedestrian was indeed speeding up to create a conflict by entering the crosswalk (and therefore was not " upon the lane"), it isn't clear to me that they are entitled to right of way. If it's accurate that the pedestrian "quickened his pace" and even then was only able to force contact by extending an object into the back wheel after the bike was through the crosswalk, then I don't know that I buy the cyclist was in the wrong. It is certainly possible that we're not getting a great description of the incident, and the pedestrian had to stop short to keep from getting hit and only then proceeded to assault the cyclist.

    The Virginia law is a bit clearer about this, though not much, prohibiting pedestrians from entering a crosswalk "in disregard of approaching traffic" - which I always interpreted this to mean that a pedestrian (or cyclist) can't dash into a cross walk in front of a car at speed, get hit, and claim the driver was at fault. They could enter "in regard of traffic" while the driver was far enough away to react even if that required the driver to slow/stop to allow them to finish crossing. I didn't find any similar language googling DC law.

    In any event, the pedestrian's actions are so over the top unhinged that they really should be reported and absolutely constitute assault consummated by battery and probably a bunch of other charges too. Attempting to hit someone with a heavy bike lock chain seems pretty close to assault with a deadly weapon, though IANAL. There are traffic cameras all over DC, not to mention home security cameras and video doorbells, so there may well be video of the incident if you act quickly to file a report.
    Last edited by Alcova cyclist; 07-22-2021 at 08:25 PM. Reason: I can't spell

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    Not at all to excuse the excessive reaction of the pedestrian, but one part not mentioned in the original story is that 31st and Q NW is a 4-way stop, so I think the pedestrian who was at the intersection to cross most likely would've been considered to have the right-of-way.

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    I can’t see how having or not having the ROW justifies the actions of the ped in this scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    I can’t see how having or not having the ROW justifies the actions of the ped in this scenario.
    It doesn't at all. The pedestrian clearly could use professional help. However, I have no use for the type of person who injects him/herself into an established community to complain about an admittedly terrible experience, misrepresents events to avoid taking any personal responsibility, and then leaves, never to return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    It doesn't at all. The pedestrian clearly could use professional help. However, I have no use for the type of person who injects him/herself into an established community to complain about an admittedly terrible experience, misrepresents events to avoid taking any personal responsibility, and then leaves, never to return.
    Good point.

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